MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28: Reece Conca of the Tigers thanks the Tigers cheer squad after he leaves the field with a leg injury in his 100th game during the 2018 AFL round 15 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on June 28, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says the club is hopeful that injured midfielder Reece Conca will return before the end of the end of the home and away season.

The 25-year old suffered a horrific ankle injury against the Swans in round 15 which caused him to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

Initial fears were that Conca broke his ankle, which would have sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

But scans revealed that the former pick six had merely dislocated his ankle, and now Hardwick is hopeful of seeing him on the field again prior to the finals.

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“He’s running at the morning so he’s moved from the Alter G (running machine),” Hardwick told reporters on Thursday.

“He’s running laps [as of] Tuesday, so he’s started to progress which is great. We’re very confident he’ll play some football,” Hardwick said on Thursday.

“When it is we’re not too sure, but we think it will be before the finals.”